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In the Interest of v. the State of Wyoming

February 18, 2011

IN THE INTEREST OF: CG, A MINOR CHILD, APPELLANT (DEFENDANT),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable Scott W. Skavdahl, Judge

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Golden, Justice.

Before KITE, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, VOIGT, and BURKE, JJ.

NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in Pacific Reporter Third. Readers are requested to notify the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Building, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002, of any typographical or other formal errors so that correction may be made before final publication in the permanent volume.

[¶1] CG, a minor, appeals from the order of the juvenile court adjudging her guilty of two delinquent acts -- interference with a peace officer and unlawful contact. She claims the evidence does not support the juvenile court's decision. We disagree and affirm.

ISSUES

[¶2] CG presents the following issues for our review:

I. Was there insufficient evidence that the officer was in the lawful performance of his official duties when he physically dragged CG from her neighbor's car?

II. Did the [juvenile] court err in finding that CG was not acting in self-defense when she struck the officer in the forearm?

FACTS

[¶3] In September 2009, the Juvenile Court of Natrona County adjudicated CG, a fourteen year-old minor, a child in need of supervision (CHINS) for failing to attend school.*fn1 The juvenile court placed CG on probation and ordered her to regularly attend school, without any unexcused absences or instances of tardiness. On the morning of September 15, 2009, CG's mother (Mother) woke her around 5:45 a.m. so she could prepare for school and catch the school bus. For various reasons, CG did not get ready in time and she missed the bus.

[¶4] CG's stepfather was ill that morning and was unable to drive CG to school after she missed the bus. Her mother did not have a driver's license and did not have any money for a taxi to take CG to school. Mother reported the situation to CG's caseworker at the Department of Family Services. The caseworker advised Mother to call the non-emergency number at the Casper Police Department and ask for assistance in getting CG to school, which she did.

[¶5] Shortly thereafter, Casper Police Officer Marcus Maton responded to CG's residence. Mother informed Officer Maton of CG's increasingly disobedient behavior, her CHINS status, the need for CG to get to school, and of her refusal to do so. After entering the home, Officer Maton overheard CG, who was in her bedroom, screaming at her mother that she did not want to go to school. Officer Maton then spoke with CG about going to school. CG was rude to the officer, and he asked her to give him her iPod and cell phone because they were a distraction. She complied, and the officer immediately gave the iPod and cell phone to Mother, with a suggestion that she return them only when CG behaved better.

[¶6] Eventually, the officer persuaded CG to get into a neighbor's van to be taken to school. The neighbor drove, Mother rode in the front passenger seat, and CG was in the rear seat. Officer Maton followed in his patrol car. During the entire drive to school, CG was upset and angry; she was screaming and cussing at both Mother and the neighbor and demanding the return of her iPod and cell phone.

[ΒΆ7] When they arrived at the school, CG refused to get out of the neighbor's van. Both Mother and the neighbor told her several times to get out, but CG refused to do so. The neighbor then sought Officer ...


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